Pyr, Apr 27 2010, $16.00
For generations, the methodical Wasp Empire has slowly conquered the Lowlands. Only recently has some enlightened members of the other species realize the perilous threat of the advancing Wasp horde.
Currently the Wasp army threatens Collegium, a city with a mix of opinions as the resistance is strong here and so are the deniers. Stenwold so far has failed to persuade the Collegium leadership that the Wasp threat endangers the city.
In Tark, Totho and Salma are arrested as spies by a fearful of strangers law enforcement officials who determine guilt based mainly on one’s status. They are released, but seemingly too late as the Wasp army has the city under siege.
This is a fascinating second tale (see Empire in Black and Gold) in a unique fantasy in which the world built by Adrian Tchaikovsky engages the audience. The strife is reminiscent of the Greco-Persan Wars (the movie 300 is one major battle) , but with the refreshing insectoid spin. Fans who appreciate something different in their military-social fantasies will want to read the strong Shadows of the Apt saga as a deep entrenched caste system struggles with survival since the invasion changes everything previously accepted as the divine order.